New Otomi Tablecloth/Bedspread Embroidered Textiles

Otomi Fabric

New pieces that I just brought back from Mexico! Click on the photo to take you to the online shop. Or contact us here with questions…


Capelo Mexican Handmade Ceramics

If you like Mexican ceramics, you may be familiar with the majolica of  “Capelo” from Guanajuato, Mexico. The pieces are made in the traditional way, on a wheel, fired several times at a very high temperature and in Capelo’s case, glazed with the most beautiful, subtle colors. We currently have  a number of Capelo vases in the shop. Here are a few shots…

Capelo Mexican Ceramics

Capelo Mexican Vase

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Mexican Ceramics, Capelo

Mexican Ceramics, Capelo

If you’re interested in any of these or would like to see more photos and get prices, contact us via the form below! Gracias…


Taxco Silver Bracelet

Taxco Silver Bracelet

Here’s a little taste of the beauty that is Mexican silver. This lovely, Mexican designed bracelet was handmade in Taxco, Mexico by a young silversmith. It’s slender but solid .925 Sterling. And it has a great clasp. Available in the online shop. Click on the photo to take you there!


Mexican Folk Art Christmas Tree Decorations

It’s early, I know, but people are already buying Christmas tree ornaments in the Minneapolis shop!  We have some very unique decorations and some of them are online. They are all handmade. That means they were not made by the millions by a machine.  No, they were actually designed and made by hand, painted by hand and have all of the charm of bigger pieces of Mexican folk art but in a smaller size. And they come from different cities and artisans all over Mexico.  Click on the photo to take you to the online shop!

Mexican Wood Carving, OrnamentWood carved animalitos from La Union, Oaxaca.

Mexican Christmas OrnamentCute lacquered airplanes and pilots as a Mexican Christmas ornament handmade in Guerrero.

Mexican Christmas OrnamentThe star-shaped pinata shows up everywhere in Mexico during the Christmas season. These small straw pinatas decorated with yarn are pretty individually or linked together in a chain.

Mexican Christmas OrnamentsFestive and colorful woven palm leaf Christmas ornaments. These come in a cluster of 12 and can be separated or left together.

Mexican Christmas OrnamentBeautiful tin musicians from Oaxaca, Mexico. These are 9″ tall and beautifully made. Unique.

Have a question? Send us an email…


Handwoven Bird Masks

These amazing bird masks were purchased at an art fair in Chiapas. But, you’re thinking, these don’t look like Mexican masks. They look more Central American. And, guess what? You’re right. There is a mask maker from Costa Rica living in Chiapas making these incredible, one-of-a-kind pieces. They use a weaving technique more commonly seen in baskets. The color combinations, the design of the heads, those incredible beaks…all created by an artisan with a beautiful vision. These are unusual and would make a fantastic collection.  They are available in the Zinnia Folk Arts online shop or click on the photo to take you there.

Woven Bird Mask, Mexico

 

Woven bird mask, Mexico

Woven bird mask, Mexico

Woven bird mask, Mexico

Woven bird mask, folk art

Woven bird mask, Mexico

Woven bird mask, folk art, Mexico


Hunting for Quality Folk Art in Mexico

You may know that I recently returned (last Monday) from a 12 day trip to Mexico. Everyone asks me if I had fun on the trip and I always have to pause just a moment before I say, “Yes, it was fun.” Because it is fun but it is also exhausting, exciting, difficult, frustrating, not relaxing, amazing, delicious, sometimes confusing and did I mention, exhausting? So many people associate Mexico with vacation, that I think it’s hard for people to imagine that I’m not sitting on the beach with a salty Margarita with Fernando!

I travel to Mexico several times a year to purchase folk art for the shop and I try to go somewhere new every time I go and I try to find new artisans every time I go. It’s the new adventures that are the most exhausting. The artisans I’ve visited before, I now  know where to find, I’ve figured out the logistics of how to get there, how to pack everything, how to schlep it to the shipper, how to get everything back safely without too much breakage or loss.

But, the new artisans are sometimes much more difficult to find, requiring stopping in corner grocery stores and asking addresses, stopping people on the street and asking if they know so-and-so, driving down narrow cobblestone streets, driving down one-lane streets then having to back out, asking people again where the person lives and then getting answers like, “Oh, he lives in the house with the wood door.”  Many of the addresses are something like, Mr. ABC, Calle XYZ, Sin Numero or XYZ Street, Without a Number. It’s not easy, amigos!

But also how rewarding! Many of the artisans I have visited are in very out-of-the-way houses in very out-of-the-way pueblos. The pleasure they have when I arrive (and the amazing warmth and generosity) and the pride of workmanship and of course, the excitement of being able to sell something lovely, more than compensates for the difficulty. And then of course the pleasure that these fine works of folk art give to my customers in the US,  is also a great pleasure.

Mexican folk art, Mexican ceramics,

This is a little family  that I found after asking 8 people in two towns and 5 different streets. It took an afternoon but as you can see, TOTALLY worth it.

How about you?  Have you had any adventures searching for artisans in Mexico?


What is the Significance of Hands in Mexican Folk Art?

One of the most frequent questions I’m asked in the shop is, “What is the significance of the hand in Mexico?”

Hand motifs do appear in many pieces of jewelry and religious iconography from Mexico and though there is no absolute answer to the question,  here are a few ideas.

One of the most obvious answers is that the hand is so important to all of us in terms of making things (hand-made), performing, communicating, praying (especially when 90% of the country is Catholic) and in making us human. This is just as true in Mexico as it is in other places.  The heart in the hand (another common image in Mexico) is a traditional folk art motif, associated with the Shakers, the Amish, and the Pennsylvania Dutch.  It is widely considered to symbolize charity, or to mean something is “from the heart”. Others consider it to represent friendship, love and truth.

The hand motif in Mexican jewelry probably increased after Pablo Picasso’s gift of the silver hand-shaped earrings to Frida Kahlo in the 1930’s or 40’s. She painted herself in them and many nicho boxes and retablos created around Frida’s image contain those famous paintings. Some Mexican artisans make beautiful hand-shaped earrings.

Here are a few pieces we currently have in the shop that can give you an idea…

Nickel Silver Frida Kahlo Necklace & Earrings, Zinnia Folk Arts

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Contact us for this lovely wooden hand covered on one side with milagros. It is $58 and measures 7″ by 4.35″ wide.

Guadalupe EArrings, Zinnia Folk Arts

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This beautiful and amazing carved hand is covered on both sides with milagros. It costs $166 and measures 10.5″ tall by 4.5″ wide.

Nickel Silver Frida Kahlo Necklace & Earrings, Zinnia Folk Arts